Happy New 2020 and putting a pin in 2019

The rest of the team have had their turn. It is interesting to see that we have all been touched by different games over the last 12 months.

The standout for Guy being Control, although we do agree on Blood and Truth being a landmark title for PSVR. Whereas Barrie loved Outer Worlds, I tried it, but wasn’t in the right space. Maybe I need to give it another spin now the fuss has died down. Gerard plumped for Plague Tale, which is title I have seen often recommended, but never looked close enough.

The great thing is, it looks like my Pile of Shame is about to get at least 3 games bigger.

Right now, looking back at 2019 we had some great titles to play and it really is hard to pull out a shortlist of favourites. That said, here’s my take.

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2019 – How Did It Stack Up? (The Barrie’s Highlights Edition)

This years highlights for me are a bit tough. Basically because of all the older games I have been playing.

Thanks to Game Pass on the Xbox I have been enjoying a absolute plethora of classic titles and games I would otherwise not have looked at. And on the flip side many of the great releases in 2019 for me were actually remasters or re-releases.

So I will try and rattle off a few highlights, and of course a disappointment or two.

All these titles were played on the Xbox One X.

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Shenmue 3, Review

I never played the original Shenmue, released 18 years ago on the Dreamcast, nor did I play Shenmue 2, so I went into Syu Suzuki’s (crowd funded) third Shenmue game (Shenmue 3) without rose-tinted glasses on or a feeling of nostalgia.

I’ve decided Shenmue 3 is a strange mix of old gaming mechanics wrapped up in a modern, shiny new skin – and I’m not sure it works entirely well in today’s modern gaming landscape.

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3dRudder for PSVR : Q/A with Stanislas Chesnais

We are no strangers to PSVR here at the site and its fair to say we are constantly surprised by the improvements being made in PSVR games. Something exciting on the horizon with future Australasian distribution is the 3dRudder.

As a feet-on experience it makes the difference and fills a gap. Anybody that has tried been challenged by movement in PSVR versions of Skyrim or DoomVFR  (already on PC) would agree, if they were integrated 3dRudder would change the game.

Our thanks go to Stanislas Chesnais, CEO, for taking the time to answer our questions and hopefully pique some interest in the 3dRudder. Knowing The Wizards and wishing No Man’s Sky integration was on the horizon can’t wait to give it a spin. Literally.

Now, DoomVFR – time to lift your PSVR game.

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Espire 1: VR Operative, PSVR Review

Espire 1: VR Operative was touted as a fully immersive Splinter Cell-esque type VR game. Which was music to my ears and the slick launch trailer just added to my hype levels.

The game is built around the idea of taking remote-control of a stealthy Espire Robot. Then infiltrating various buildings and factory type levels to take down armed terrorists. An Espire unit can use an array of gadgets, guns and even navigate levels full of verticality with its magnetic hands.

Like I said, a really cool premise.

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Halo Reach (PC): Finishing the fight on a new platform

There’s no denying that Gregorian chants are a cornerstone of the Halo series. They’re unmistakable identifiers for the Master Chief and the fight against the alien covenant. Halo Reach is no exception.

So when the Gregorian chants fired up on the menu screen of the PC version, it brought a smile to both my face – and my ears (if my ears could smile, that is).

I’m not the world’s greatest Halo fan but I’ve played them all. Reach was always at the top of my list as my favourite of the series. Maybe it was because the story told of the close-knit camaraderie between the six members of Noble team. Cat, Emile, Jorge, Jun, Carter and Spartan B-312 (that’s you, by the way). As they take the fight to the covenant on the planet Reach, or maybe it was because Reach wasn’t about Master Chief. Whatever it was, Reach just resonated with me.

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Phillips Hue, go into the light

In summary there is more than meets the eye with the Phillips Hue, once you start to tinker and play setting the mood becomes an event in itself. There is much I have not touched on here, but being able to program set routines and actions just builds on the automation dream.

My other absolute favourite benefit is being able to set the lights to ‘on’ as I approach the house, no more stumbling home in the dark because you didn’t think it would be that long.

I’m sold, well and truly – the Hue bulbs will certainly be staying and I will be extending them out across the house as soon as I can.

Follow the light.

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